Disaster Preparedness

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It’s been a few weeks since the earthquake, but I feel like I’m still in survival mode. I feel like I’ve got to keep stocking up on supplies–just in case an earthquake strikes again. To be fair, there are still aftershocks rocking us here in Hokkaido, but none of them has reached the same magnitude as the major quake earlier this month.

Every time I am at the store, I need to stop thinking of stocking up with non-perishable goods. I’m also fighting the urge to keep buying more batteries or bottles of water.

It’s getting ridiculous.

First, we have more than enough supplies at home. We didn’t even really need to use the ones I had in stock exactly for this situation. Second, if another earthquake were to happen, we have enough food and batteries to last a couple of weeks. And lastly, if worse comes to worse, I can always figure out what to do. After all, I did it when the earthquake happened. As the author Chris Guillebeau says, “Everything is figure-out-able.”

However, I am extremely grateful that I’ve always taken the disaster-preparedness warnings seriously. I feel like you just have to, especially if you live in Japan. This country has to deal with so many natural disasters that I don’t understand why people were caught unprepared with the earthquake. I heard some people didn’t even have flashlights or extra batteries in their homes to deal with the aftermath.

I am not sure if I could live like that. I don’t know what it is, but my brain has always been wired to plan for emergencies. This hasn’t been always the case, though. When I was younger, I was completely oblivious to these things. Like I’ve mentioned before, I never saved for emergencies or planned for my retirement. But now that I’m older and I’ve lived through my husband’s ordeal, I’ve come to view preparing for disasters as hedging the risks of life. After all, nothing in this world is certain, but if you can plan for when things go bad, you don’t panic and know what you need to do.

I am glad that we had bottles of water stored for emergencies in the house. I always keep a rolling stock of canned goods and packs of instant food in the pantry. I knew exactly where the flashlights and the batteries were. I had even planned for when we lost electricity with my smart phone. I had a charger that relied on battery power instead of electricity. If not, there was always something I could do.

To me, that was the whole point of being set up for emergencies. It applies to my financial life and health, too. Again, it’s all about planning for the worst-case-scenarios. In case of emergencies, the best thing you can do is staying calm and going through the necessary steps. You need to have a reliable action plan. This way, you won’t fall prey to feelings of panic and helplessness. If you have these things in place, you know what to do or where to go.

With that said, I know that there is a limit to how much you can prepare. Vigilance is the key. I need to be on top of any emergency, but I don’t want to go overboard and become one of those survivalists waiting for Doomsday. I feel like that defeats the purpose. Yes, you prep for the emergency–but only so that you can have the peace of mind to go out and live your life. Have the emergency supplies and then it’s time to do your thing.


I guess I need to put this can of fish back on the shelf.

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